Above-average sports autobiography by New York Giants star wide receiver Cruz.
After scoring a touchdown, Cruz always dances the salsa in honor of his Puerto Rican grandmother and as a reminder of the formidable odds he had to overcome to reach iconic sports status. Born and raised in the tough town of Paterson, N.J., where trouble was always easy to find, Cruz was blessed with athletic talent but also intelligence, determination and, most importantly, mentors. His grandparents, mother and father—a Paterson firefighter who entered Cruz’s life at age 7—insured he would make the right choices, channeling his talents and energies into sports and school. Cruz, ably assisted by FOXSports.com writer Schrager, offers loving portraits of these and others who shaped his life. After receiving a scholarship to UMass Amherst (only after taking the SATs several times to reach the required score), he promptly flunked out, not once, but twice. “My behavior,” he notes in a refreshing bit of candor, “was shameful…I had become the stereotypical dumb jock.” After penance at a community college and work in a mall, Cruz graduated from college. Then, unheralded and undrafted, he was signed by the Giants. The author devotes much of the narrative to the Giants’ road to the Super Bowl, but the real story is Cruz’s journey, including all the triumphs and tragedies and the people who loved and guided him.
With mature wisdom and youthful exuberance, Cruz tells an important story of the possibilities life offers.